In the wake of allegations on Sunday morning that EFF leader Julius Malema’s security unit, known as the Defenders of the Revolution (DOR), beat up and shot live rounds at EFF members in the Vaal on Saturday night, further details have emerged about what possibly happened.
Malema attended the party’s provincial people’s assembly gathering in Midvaal to oversee the election of new leaders.
A dispute over the availability for election of an expelled member, Abednego Mathole, allegedly led Mathole’s supporters to get upset and storm out of the venue. Another point of dispute was reportedly the EFF’s support for the DA, which this apparent “faction” was also not happy about.
An anonymous witness AfricaNews24-7 spoke to said a vehicle carrying Malema was the source of gunshots that followed the meeting. It has been reported that this may have been in response to Malema’s vehicle being stoned after the faction had accused him of imposing his preferred candidate on them.
“Thugs” from a Toyota Quantum then allegedly “viciously attacked everyone, including myself”, the EFF member alleged. One member, named only as “Mike from Alexandra”, was allegedly beaten so badly he had to be hospitalised after being rendered unconscious.
It’s understood that Mathole was expelled from the party for, among other things, a confrontation with EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, who was accused in July of punching and slapping another young member of the party multiple times, mistakenly thinking he was Mathole.
Gardee has denied assaulting any fellow member, which is the EFF leadership’s official line on the matter.
Mathole had openly criticised the EFF leadership, including deputy president Floyd Shivambu, after Shivambu assaulted a journalist outside parliament.
However, Malema has claimed it was Mathole who in fact assaulted Gardee, which apparently infuriated Mathole’s supporters, as they consider this a lie. It was at this point that they apparently stormed out of the venue.
An audio clip has emerged of Malema denouncing Mathole and his supporters as “stone throwers”, amid him talking about Mathole allegedly assaulting Gardee. Malema said he would not be willing to negotiate with such people.
You can listen to that below:
The EFF is yet to comment on the allegations and their spokesperson has remained unreachable.